Start, Formula 2, 2019

Aitken beats De Vries in action-packed Baku feature race

Formula 2

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Jack Aitken won an eventful Formula 2 feature race in Baku for Campos after passing early leader Nyck de Vries after their pit stops.

De Vries had taken the lead from pole sitter Nobuharu Matsushita at the start and pulled out a lead over his pursuers. But a slow pit stop by the ART team brought his rivals within range.

Aitken swapped positions with Nicholas Latifi in the opening laps but got himself in position to capitalise on De Vries’s slow pit stop. He emerged from the pit lane behind his rival, but nailed his chance to take the lead.

Latifi also passed De Vries, sparking an entertaining scrap between the two. They exchanged positions twice on lap 11, but the next time around De Vries decisively took the lead approaching turn one.

This put him in position to attack Aitken for the lead when the Safety Car was deployed late in the race following a collision between Guanyu Zhou and Juan Manuel Correa, which left the Renault junior driver in the barrier at turn one. However the first attempt to resume racing did not go according to plan. Sergio Sette Camara and Luca Ghiotto tangled approaching the start/finish line, forcing an extension to the Safety Car period.

Due to earlier incidents, the race was now running to time instead of its scheduled distance, meaning there were just two laps to go when the race finally resumed. Aitken held his nerve, arrived at turn one comfortably clear of De Vries, and motored home to deliver the first F2 victory for Campos.

Latifi lost the final podium place to Jordan King, while Ghiotto recovered to take sixth behind Dorian Boccolacci. Sean Gelael, who started 19th following his disqualification from qualifying, took seventh while Correa survived his brush with Zhou to claim eighth and pole position for tomorrow’s sprint race. Nikita Mazepin and Anthoine Hubert completed the podium finishers.

Mick Schumacher had an eventful race, running wide at the first corner at the start and scrapping hard with Ghiotto, before spinning out at turn 16 and causing a Virtual Safety Car period. He joined Giuliano Alesi in retirement, the Trident driver having hit team mate Ralph Boschung at the start.

Taiana Calderon retired just as a Safety Car deployment looked set to save her race. The Arden driver stalled before the formation lap, started from the pits, and delayed pitting while she waited for a Safety Car to play into her hands. However her car stopped as she approached the pit lane after Zhou caused the final Safety Car deployment.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Aitken beats De Vries in action-packed Baku feature race”

  1. Sean Galael hasn’t had a fair fight yet with teammate Schumacher in the first 3 races, but Galael seems the faster race driver so far, with no mistakes except for the dubious Marshall incident in free practise. P7, and starting 2nd tomorrow.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      27th April 2019, 16:15

      Geleal had been in f2 since 2017 and hasn’t really done much. Mick is a rookie and in f2 that means that you need another year to really get to show your speed. I wouldn’t worry about Mick until next season.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        27th April 2019, 16:16

        Ugh, many typos…

      2. The best drivers do not need 2 seasons to win F2/GP2. If Schumacher fails to do so in his first season it will only reinforce a lot of opinions that he just isn’t worthy of the hype. I appreciate he can’t help people talking about him but it really bugs me this guy is getting opportunities his driving doesn’t really deserve. At least Lance Stroll has actually paid for his drive in F1. Mick won’t even have to pay or prove his talent. He will get to F1, no doubt about it. On the basis of his surname.
        I honestly dont like to put the boot into young drivers but this guy just does not deserve the false hype. Prove me wrong Mick, prove me wrong.

  2. Aitken should have gotten a penalty for his braking and accelerating at the restart which caused the crash between Ghiotto and Sette Camara.

    Matsushita got a raceban for this kind of behaviour three years ago.

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